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Old 09-03-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
ms8miranda
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Default Do Plum Pits HAVE to be Removed???

I have wild plums I'm trying to make into wine. They are small (1-inch diameter and smaller).

The instructions say to cut the plums open and remove the pits. With these plums, there is a lot of meat that sticks to the pit and I'd lose a lot of good stuff.

So I just squeezed them to open them and left the pit in the must. Is this OK? Is there some reason the pit should NOT be left in the must?

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:29 PM   #2
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Pits tend to be extreemly bitter. I'd remove them.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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use italian plums ... they're smaller but the pit pops right out of it.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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I know apricot and apple pits contain Amygdalin, which when metabolised turns into Hydrogen Cyanide. I am not sure about plums, but I would be wary. I don't know if yeast can metabolise the compound hwever, but it is better safe that sorry.

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Old 09-03-2008, 08:40 PM   #5
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I think the whole process would work better for you if you cut the plums in half and froze them first. ideally remove the pits first, but as you say, they are not coming out easily. Freezing would make more juice available from the plum and I'm thinking also make it easier to remove the pits. Sounds like it is too late for that but if you start another batch that might be the way to go.

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Old 09-04-2008, 05:11 AM   #6
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I've made 3 different plum wines, none of which I've bottled yet. In each case plums were washed then froze whole, thawed overnight when required, bagged and mashed into the musts, pits and all. Bags removed after 4/5 days.
Ferments were all 'dirty'; up to 5th and 6th rackings presently, all clearing well, tasting promising. Don't consider pits inclusion detrimental in any way,
provided pit kernals aren't broached.

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Old 09-04-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Default Plum pit toxins...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms8miranda View Post
I have wild plums I'm trying to make into wine. They are small (1-inch diameter and smaller).

The instructions say to cut the plums open and remove the pits. With these plums, there is a lot of meat that sticks to the pit and I'd lose a lot of good stuff.

So I just squeezed them to open them and left the pit in the must. Is this OK? Is there some reason the pit should NOT be left in the must?
From the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

The kernels within the pits of some stone fruits contain a natural toxin called cyanogenic glycoside. These fruits include apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums and prunes. The flesh of the fruit itself is not toxic. Normally, the presence of cyanogenic glycoside alone is not dangerous. However, when kernels are chewed cyanogenic glycoside can transform into hydrogen cyanide - which is poisonous to humans. The lethal dose of cyanide ranges from 0.5 to 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight. This is why it is not recommended to eat the kernels inside the pits of stone fruits.

They don't mention the effect(s) of alcohol when combined with this toxin, but I wouldn't want to run the risk of making toxic wine, or creating off flavours from including the pits. Ken Schramm mentions stone fruit pits in his book: "The Compleat Meadmaker" on page# 107 he states: "The flesh of the pits of stone fruits contain cyanide compounds. The question lies in whether or not the concentration of these compounds poses any threat."

I hope you find this info useful, GF.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gratus fermentatio View Post
From the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

The kernels within the pits of some stone fruits contain a natural toxin called cyanogenic glycoside. These fruits include apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums and prunes. The flesh of the fruit itself is not toxic. Normally, the presence of cyanogenic glycoside alone is not dangerous. However, when kernels are chewed cyanogenic glycoside can transform into hydrogen cyanide - which is poisonous to humans.
FWIW - I ferment cherries pits and all with no ill effects, as do a number of people I know. The problems arise once the pits are crushed and the toxins are released into the must. Whole pits fermented in a primary for a couple of weeks, in my experience, aren't harmful.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
FWIW - I ferment cherries pits and all with no ill effects, as do a number of people I know. The problems arise once the pits are crushed and the toxins are released into the must. Whole pits fermented in a primary for a couple of weeks, in my experience, aren't harmful.
Thanks for the reassurance....I know I read it was OK with cherries but I thought I better not just assume that it's OK with ALL pits.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:37 AM   #10
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In case others find this thread in searches...

Jack Keller makes his award-winning wild plum wine with the pits still in during the primary fermentation.

winemaking: requested recipe (Texas Wild Plum Wine)

I followed his recipe pretty closely, but I froze the plums first. After thawing, I mashed them open with my fingers, rather than use his method of mashing with a sterilized wooden baseball bat. (How could you possibly sterilize that?)

Everything ferments, including seeds, until the must reaches 1.020, then you strain out the pulp and return to the primary for a couple of days, then you rack off the seeds.

His wild plum wine has taken MANY contests, he has been making it every year for many years, and I'd imagine if the fermentation extracted enough toxins to make the wine toxic, he would be the one to know.

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